Tag Archives: winning again

0-67% in Watton. Can we do it elsewhere?

The by-election in Watton-at-Stone in August saw Liberal Democrats take 67% of the vote in a ward we’d not contested in three decades. This is in East Herts District, where we lost our last councillors in 2015 and all the sitting councillors were elected as Tories. Can we do this elsewhere?

The local party benefited considerably from the help and expertise of Paul Zukowskij from HC3, and through him from other people in Hertfordshire, and also from Cambridgeshire (particularly from Mary Regnier Wilson who ran the committee room on polling day).

The stark contrast in my mind is with another recent by-election, in Petersfield ward in Cambridge, where what felt like an army of campaigners worked our socks off, but didn’t win. Significantly more effort went into Petersfield than Watton, but…

In the back of my mind is the memory of door-knocking in South Cambridgeshire in the 2017 County campaign and having people say “I would vote Liberal Democrat, but there’s no point around here because the Tories always win”. That’s the South Cambridgeshire where we took control of the District Council in May this year…

Also in the back of my mind is the memory of the 2017 General Election and knocking on doors in elsewhere in East Herts where people were glad to see a canvasser: comments included “the political parties don’t care about us” and “I’ve lived in this house for 20 years and you’re the first canvasser to knock on my door”. The only Tory leaflet I saw in that campaign in Hertford and Stortford constituency was their freepost.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 5th Dec - 8:21pm
    @ Alex Macfie "large surges in seats we are targeting (e.g. F&GG, Esher & Walton) but modest advances (or even falling back) in seats where...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 5th Dec - 6:58pm
    The crucial question now is what can be done in the last seven days to turn this election. Big late changes can happen. But only...
  • User AvatarJonathan Coulter 5th Dec - 6:38pm
    Thanks for raising this matter. I have hardly heard it mentioned during the election campaign, but media reform and regulation is perhaps the most vital...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 5th Dec - 5:53pm
    Andrew T: Actually we have a tight targeting strategy. as reflected in constituency polls indicating large surges in seats we are targeting (e.g. F&GG, Esher...
  • User AvatarAnthony Acton 5th Dec - 4:49pm
    We need to remember where we are coming from to appreciate the challenge Jo Swinson faces in this election. She is leading a party which...
  • User AvatarJames Brough 5th Dec - 4:25pm
    My thanks to Ollie for an interesting and thoughtful article. Great shame that some prefer to rest on their laurels and criticise, rather than offer...
Tue 10th Dec 2019